The 6 Pack 8-31-22

6 pack newsletter Aug 31, 2022


What’s up, beer geek! This is The Beer Scholar 6-Pack weekly newsletter, a short clean email featuring 6 bulleted links with brief descriptions for each.


Howdy beer geek! I saw Little Dragon & Leon Bridges perform on Monday night. That was excellent. I head to San Francisco soon, Old Devil Moon's (66)6th Satanic Panic Anniversary party is coming up! We'll have a mini tap possession by the one and only Sante Adairius Rustic Ales going on, among other lovely things. Not to be missed if you're in SF. I have personal connections with several of this week's 6 Pack link subjects, I hope you enjoy them!

Beer of the Week: I found a Keeping Together (Master Cicerone Averie Swanson) collab with Seattle-based Fast Fashion. It's a Belgian Pale called Reality is an Atmosphere: Chinook. It's lovely. It's rare to get American takes on Belgian styles that are properly dry. This one nails it all around.

As always, here are 6 dope links for your Friday 6 Pack. Enjoy.


TBS 6-Pack



Tmavé Pivo: The Czech Republic’s Uncommon Dark Lager by Evan Rail for Craft Beer & Brewing. I drank a few glasses of tmavé pivo with Evan Rail in Prague once, we did a video podcast interview you can watch on my Beer Scholar YouTube channel (subscribe, yo!). Evan is not primarily in the business of being a tour guide for out of town beer geeks, but if you’re heading to Prague I recommend you reach out and ask if he’s down. Tmavé pivo translates to “dark beer” and though it’s nowhere near as popular in the Czech Rep as pale lagers, it’s a genuine Czech invention that’s available at most fine Czech beer joints as the other option. It’s a decocted lager with deep subtle layers of dark malt flavor, with lots of toast and a touch of caramel (no roast). The balance is typically even or a touch sweet and the body is fairly full for a lager of relatively low to normal strength. Keep an eye for dark Czech lagers, a lot of craft brewers, at least in the US, are getting into making them. 



The True Story Behind IPA Day by Andy Crouch for All About Beer. IPA Day, which happened earlier this month, was largely the invention of Ashley Routson. Ashley lived in the Bay Area and though we never hung out, we occasionally crossed paths in the beer scene out there. “The Beer Wench” was one of the first major social media influencers in craft beer (she still has 54k IG followers) and she even came out with an “intro to beer” type book in 2015. The linked piece talks about how she came up with and launched IPA Day, but I feel there’s a lot more of interest here and I think it’s OK to write about this, considering that it’s all been posted about on social media by Ashley herself. Ashley seriously turned her life around from that era when I knew her. She’s currently 5 years sober, lives far from the Bay Area, and is a jacked-level-fit manager of a climbing gym. She now posts on social only a few times a year. According to her social posts, she’s a lot happier with her life now. I think it’s important to feature the paths of folks like Ashley for all the many reasons. It takes some serious guts to walk away from what she had going. Big congrats to Ashley on all her success! 



The Brewer’s Association, the US’s main lobbying org for smaller independent breweries, just launched a new nationwide campaign — This is Indie Beer. This is a smart move. The term “craft” has long been co-opted by large multinational breweries. That forces one to consider what term small breweries can use that the big guys can’t co-opt? “Independent” seems like a solid choice. As ever, some consumers will care while others will just buy whatever IPA is the cheapest. Next up, let’s hope the BA comes out with a new symbol for indie brewers to put on their bottles to replace that upside down bottle logo no one seems to love. 



Traditional Farmhouse Malting in Stjørdal by Mika Laitinen for Brewing Nordic. Stjørdal in Norway (about halfway up, just east of Trondheim) is the only place in the world where homebrewer communities have continued to malt their own barley for beer making. They make Alderwood smoked malt which goes into their smokey amber regional farmhouse ale, called stjørdalsøl. A few years back at the Norsk Kornølfestival I hung out with one of the most famous maltsters and brewers of these beers, Roar Sandodden of Alstadberg. If you visit your best local bottle shop you may be able to find his beer — Alstadberger. If you like German rauchbier like Schlenkerla, you’ll love Alstadberger. Click the main link and check out the amazing malting houses (såinnhus) these folks have built. It’s a truly unique beer making culture that deserves to be celebrated. 


The Rehearsal (trailer on YouTube) is easily the best “reality” TV show of all time…actually, I’d call it “post-reality” because it’s completely unclear what is real. It’s a totally psychedelic journey in which mad genius Nathan Fielder (of Nathan For You) helps other people rehearse difficult situations they wish to tackle. In the end, the whole thing comes around full circle on Nathan. I almost feel like I should give a trigger warning for the last episode, but it’s not even clear if it’s real or not. All the articles I’ve checked out online about The Rehearsal talk about how cringe-y it is, but I find shows like FBoy Island WAAAY more cringy, while The Rehearsal just feels like real people being real when it comes to emotionally loaded stuff. No doubt, Nathan pushes the boundaries to the point where you’re like, did he get consent for this? But that’s the point and I suspect a lot of it is scripted. All I’m sure of is that you really should watch it. 



Willie Nelson’s Long Encore by Jody Rosen for the NYT Mag. Sorry for the paywalled link, but this is a must read even if you’re not a Willie fan. His life has been amazing. He has made 97 studio albums (!!!!) even though he didn’t become a star until he was 45 years old! He’s 89 but still plays 100 shows a year. He literally named the “outlaw” country music subgenre in 1976 when he released an album called “Wanted! The Outlaws.” I saw Willie live on the night of Obama’s inauguration in 2009 at the Fillmore in San Francisco (here’s the poster, which I still have). Great show, lotta weed. Anyway, it occurred to me as I read this that I’ve never actually listened to a Willie Nelson album…I’m gonna have to pick a few of those 97 albums to give a listen. 


Have a lovely weekend, y'all!


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